Saturday, August 7, 2010

getting ready

The first day of regular school (as opposed to occasional school we do in the summer) is Aug. 16. I have much to do. Some tips on some of the resources we are this year:

  • As we enter U.S. history, we are using America: The Last Best Hope. There is a corresponding web site – the Roadmap – that is available by subscription. I had heard from others that you could only buy a subscription to the site if you bought the book from them. Too bad for me, because I had already bought a used copy of the book. I  called Houghton Mifflin and asked and they were more than happy to sign me right up. No problems at all.
  • We are also anxiously awaiting our free DVDs of The Story of Us from the History Channel. Kudos to the History Channel for inviting homeschools to participate in the DVD giveaway.
  • We are doing Algebra 1 this year (and yes, I mean “we”) and we are using the cheap equivalent of Chalkdust. I bought the Larson Algebra book used (dirt cheap) and got the Dana Moseley DVDs from Amazon. Many hundreds of dollars worth of math for less than $50. The book and set cover Algebra 1 and 2.
  • I think I posted this one already, but to supplement our science we are are using Hakim’s The Story of Science. I think it will be an interesting look at what lead to many discoveries.
  • I downloaded the free version of Homeschool Tracker. So far, so good. I will have to see if it works well for us once we are in daily lessons.
  • Nolan is taking physical science through the Virtual Homeschool Group this year. The awesome Debra will be teaching the class one day per week and we are so excited. The other days will be done in our regular homeschool mode. If you aren’t familiar with VHSG, do check it out. (It’s free!)
  • Also free, because free is my favorite – Microsoft Dreamspark available through the Homeschool Buyers’ Co-op. My husband, the computer genius, tells me the software Nolan can use through this program is the same stuff developers use. This is a terrific program – Microsoft is trying to encourage the next generation of developers to get started and build their skills early. Nolan is very keen on anything electronic. He did a short HTML course last year and loved it so I think this will be a huge asset – and free.

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